Anxious shoppers line up as retailers start Black Friday deals early

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Thanksgiving is the new Black Friday for some anxious shoppers. Kmart, just one of many stores offering Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving,  opened its doors at 6 a.m. Thursday, November 28th -- and shoppers eager for a deal were lined up outside long before the doors opened.

"We've been out here since 4:05 a.m. Basically I'm just here for the deals -- the doorbusters," said shopper Tanya Fogut.

Shopper Ewanda Fields arrived at Kmart around 4:45 a.m. Fields says she is glad the store is offering extended hours and deals ahead of Black Friday, because she isn't able to shop on Friday, November 29th due to work.

"I can't make it to Black Friday -- and I think this is a nice time to come," Fields said.

Some popular items Thursday included tablets -- all 30 sold out within 10 minutes -- as well as TVs and the Xbox One.

Employees said that was expected, and they were ready for the crowds.

Close to 100 staff members were scheduled for the day. The hiring starts months before to make sure there are more than enough people ready and trained for the day.

But that also means more people working on Thanksgiving. The store manager said they do what they can to still make this holiday enjoyable.

“We do provide a buffet for them to eat throughout the day. And then we have a flexible schedule if they need the night off, or have something they have to do in the morning then we'll have them work at night. We are flexible with the team and really work around any family obligations they might have,” said Justin Peterson, the manager at the K-Mart in West Allis.

The manger reported smaller crowds this year than last, and he said it wasn’t just at his location.

K-mart will be open all Thanksgiving Day, which is a first this year. The store will stay open through Black Friday, closing at midnight.

Kmart isn't the only store that has kicked of it's Black Friday sales early. has assembled a brief list of malls and their operating hours on Thursday and Friday — prime shopping time for Black Friday specials.

Southridge Mall, Greendale: 8 p.m. Thursday through 10 p.m. Friday

Mayfair Mall, Wauwatosa: Select stores open 8 p.m. Thursday through 9 p.m. Friday

Brookfield Square, Brookfield: Select stores open 8 p.m. Thursday through 10 p.m. Friday

Bayshore Town Center, Glendale: Select stores open 8 p.m. Thursday through 10 p.m. Friday

Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets, Pleasant Prairie: Select stores open 9 p.m. Thursday through 10 p.m. Friday

Johnson Creek Premium Outlets, Johnson Creek: Select stores open 8 p.m. Thursday through 10 p.m. Friday

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